Criminal Justice Residential Initiative

Posted on 9/01/2011 by The Bridge

The New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) has selected The Bridge as one of five agencies for a new initiative to provide housing and services to men and women released from State Correctional Facilities. Through this initiative The Bridge will dedicate 14 residential beds to this special population. In addition to providing housing, The Bridge will offer mental health and substance abuse treatment, vocational and related rehabilitation services, and primary health care. The new initiative is the latest Bridge response to meet the needs of seriously mentally ill men and women in the criminal justice system. While the census in New York’s State psychiatric facilities is now less than 4,000, there are many more thousands with serious mental illness in the correctional system.

Seven years ago, The Bridge pioneered the Iyana Project with Bedford Hills State Correctional Facility in which a Bridge in-reach team works with inmates nearing release and provides post-release permanent housing and services. The agency also participated in the Frequent User Service Enhancement (FUSE) Program, a New York City initiative to provide housing to criminal justice clients. FUSE targets individuals through data matching that identifies people with multiple stays in both the jail and shelter systems, and places them in supportive housing. 
We are pleased to participate in this new initiative designed to meet the critical needs of an especially vulnerable population.

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